The Non-Toxic Dilemma…

A choice we made upon starting laNeva Tile: All of our glazes must be lead-free and rated as AP-non-toxic. All of them. No exceptions.

Okay, here’s the dilemma: While the industry is reformulating many glazes to be lead-free, there are still a lot of glazes out there with lead and cadmium in them or they are still considered a “toxic” glaze (or rather, not “non-toxic) because they contain other elements with a known health risk.

There is yet another problem when the glazes meet the non-toxic requirements when used as a brushed-on glaze, but not when sprayed.  Inhalation risks are great with sprayed glazes and any dry glazes. Lead-free or not. (Spraying is not an issue for us because we brush all of our glazes. Glaze overspray isn’t good for people or the environment, period.)

An even further problem is that some of the coolest, richest, most dramatic glaze colors are made from heavy metals, including lead and cadmium, the exact elements that make these tiles not fit with our business model.

We have an awesome (and I don’t use that word lightly) launch coming up and we’re working on glaze formulations and selections like madwomen* here. The challenge is to find glaze formulas that create gorgeous laNeva-worthy colors that all fit in with our lead free and non-toxic glaze model. So, stick around for a truly fabulous, richest, bestest new glaze color launch you ever did see – all lead free and non-toxic – early next week.

*Yes, for those of you wondering, we are all women at laNeva Tile ;)

0 Comments

The Alternative Tile Layout- Vertical

We’ve linked to Houzz Ideabooks in the past but today we want to share a collection of photos that illustrate our favorite point: You CAN and SHOULD use rectangular tiles vertically!  Here is a beautiful visual collection of vertical tile installations. Choose any of laNeva’s mesh-mounted SPAN field tile patterns, released last week, to achieve the same fresh, dramatic look.

Click the dots or arrows below to scroll through the Houzz Ideabook.  Enjoy!


0 Comments

5 Myths of Handmade

There are many myths (or rather half-truths) about handmade products and those who produce them. We wanted to dispel some of these stereotypes and set the record straight (at least about our product!)

1.) We are dirty hippies

Absolutely not! While we love the unique nature of all things handmade (and we do own Birkenstocks),  we generally do not consider ourselves hippies. Well, maybe sometimes.  I do have a hippie skirt that I love… but I digress.

2.) We DO love the earth and want to help it any way we can.

Yes, very true. Handmade products often have a smaller ecological footprint, utilize more recycled or upcycled materials and a benefit from smaller shipping radius than their mass-produced counterparts. Plus, in buying handmade, you support the local economy and the artisans who produce these unique products.

3.) We produce tile by hand as much for the art, process and personal enjoyment, as the green attributes and final product.

Yes, we LOVE what we do!  Tile are like puzzle pieces. You need to find the correct fit to create the desired overall picture. Through the design, production and layout of tile, we keep our hands in the mud (quite literally) to produce a very personally satisfying product.

4.) We sell our product everywhere –  art fairs, block parties, boutiques, you name it and we’re there.

No. We have great relationships set up with the vendors of our tile and laNeva is NOT available everywhere.  We have an exclusive product line that is available through Designers, Architects, select showrooms such as Christopher’s Baths and Kitchens and our representatives, Spacial Adaptation.

(So instead of hippie, your going high-end with this “Exclusive” thing??)

Well.. in a sense, yes. We create a luxury product by hand and it is not intended to compete with the cheaply made $5/sf machine-made tile out there – Just as a hand-knit sweater with New Zealand wool targets a completely different market than an acrylic sweater from Target made in China. Different markets, traits, aesthetics and buyer motivation.

5.) We urge everyone to consider handmade instead of machine-made products when possible.

Yes!! While we know you can’t purchase handmade for everything, the intrinsic warmth, character and care put into development and production of a handmade product cannot be rivaled by machine-made products. We all need to be aware of this energy and help to support those who create (either products or jobs for those who create products) for a living.

We love (did we say love?  We mean LOVE) all things handmade and we are thrilled that there are so many people out there who “get” the value of handmade.

As a colleague, Carter Averbeck of Trompe Decorative Finishes put it during this holiday season:

“Bring cheer to your holidays by shopping local small businesses. Not only are you supporting the economy, you are supporting a small business owner who also is in need of a wonderful holiday season. Without Mom & Pop shops and their spectacular approach to customer service, we’d all suffer from lack of a true community and connectedness to each other. Shop local and your impact to make someone else’s holiday special will not go unnoticed!”

Thanks Carter, and thanks to all of you who have supported laNeva Tile in our quest for a beautiful, functional handmade product that will last for many years to come.  Now maybe I should change out of these Birkenstocks…

May your holidays be warm and bright!

(or if you prefer, Have a Happy Hippie Holiday!)

from Lisa, Jodi and Leslie for laNeva Artisan Tile


0 Comments

The Effect of Wind & Waves

The look and feel of sea glass has always appealed to me. Its soft worn edges and muted, matte colors the result of long-term abrasion by sand and water. Sea glass feels so wonderful in your hands: cool and substantial, yet aged and rugged, like it has a story to tell of its adventures.

While out gathering sea glass for my small collection, I stumbled upon the extraordinary: Sea Tile. Yes, little broken shards of tumbled, worn tile that had been long ago discarded and washed up to shore. Where it is from and how it ended up in the ocean, I will not speculate, but the result is extraordinary.  It’s like typical mosaic pieces but after being thrown into a tumbler.  Sea tile has all the luscious, sensual appeal of sea glass, with the added benefit of being a medium that I work with every day.

For now, my sea tile shards reside in a little glass jar next to my larger jar of sea glass.  My favorite piece will someday have a new life as a pendant in a dramatic necklace and maybe the others will become adornments on a framed photo or a child’s art project. Who knows.

While my sea tile is not really vibrant or plentiful, if you need some additional eye candy, see the South of Rome blog for some spectacular sea tile from the Amalfi coast. Someday…

0 Comments